Reforms 'do little to curb booze culture'
@devlincolle: New laws regulating the sale of alcohol come into effect today, but experts say it will do little to curb the drinking culture.
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 Act will put more limits on young people's access to alcohol. It will place more responsibility on those who provide alcohol to them and it gives parents more control.
The reforms aim to improve New Zealand's drinking culture and reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking.
Justice Minister Judith Collins said a "sensible balance" had been struck between curbing the harm caused by alcohol abuse without penalising responsible drinkers.
However, University of Otago department of preventive and social medicine head Jennie Connor said the laws would do little to curb harmful drinking.
Hospitality Association of New Zealand spokesman Jeremy Smith said the Government had "completely overlooked" personal accountability.
"All the regulations are on the licence holder.
"You can be intoxicated in the street, the second you step into a licensed premises the owner and the bar managers are the ones who are breaking the law and get punished."
Meanwhile Gore District, Invercargill City and Southland District Councils are developing a joint Local Alcohol Policy as part of the new legislation.
The councils will have control on issues such as the location of new premises and how close they can be to sensitive activities such as schools. They can also decide on whether further licences should be issued and maximum trading hours.
Meetings around the region with community groups and various stakeholders have been held and a draft of the policy will be presented to each council in the new year.
The legislation also involves the establishment of District Licensing Committees, with the three councils appointing committee members.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.